BaltimoreRavens Conference Call
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on if the Colts' offense will compare with the 1999 Rams and others) 12/15/04
"Absolutely, absolutely, and whatever comparisons you want to draw. There's no question about it. This will go down, not only as one of the great years a quarterback has ever had, that's easy to identify with in regard to Peyton (Manning's) accomplishments, but on offense as a whole. I would say it would rank right there with any of them."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on the Colts' complexity and ability to change the offense and is it way out there in terms of advancing offensive football) 12/15/04
"It depends on who you have. I think a lot of that comes back to Peyton Manning. I spent years and years when I was in Minnesotalooking at what Brett Favre does, as an example. As you do in the offseason, you come away going, 'Well, I can't ask my guy to do that because only Brett Favre can do that.' There are things that Brett Favre does that if your quarterback tried, you'd have him hung. Brett just makes them happen. There are some things that Peyton does that is unique to Peyton, that if you try to do that, you're going to probably create more problems than it's worth. Taking nothing away from anybody else or the rest of the team or anything like that, a lot of it has to stem from Peyton's work ethic and his ability to have complete perception of what's going on in front of him and how to adjust to it. Everybody around him feeds off that."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on if he sees other teams trying to imitate the offense) 12/15/04
"There's a few that schematically I see them trying to do some things, and some of them are no longer employed. So, that kind of tells you how that works. You have to do what your players do best. Peyton is unique in that regard and there's not too many, I don't think I've seen, that can do it the way he does."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on if the Colts offense is the next page of offensive football) 12/15/04
"The hard part is, can you gather the right type of people to do that? You have to have that balance. You have to have three very gifted receivers. You have to have two athletic tight ends. You have to have an incredible back that's particularly good at single-back running. You have to have a quarterback that can illustrate it all. And you have to commit to it as a team, and that's the other thing that they do. They are wholly committed, as they should be because that's where their assets are, to their profile, to their style of play—I'm talking offense, defense, special teams. It is geared towards that explosiveness with the offense and that's how they play the game."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on how much Ed Reed has to do with the Ravens ability to limit the big play) 12/15/04
"A big part of it. Ed really has done a great job coalescing that back end, and it's still progressing. We're just now getting some players off injury, finally getting Deion (Sanders) back, getting Chris (McAlister) back. When they can get into a groove, they can make it tough. And we know, that particularly given our defensive profile and our ability to run the ball, if we can keep you from getting explosive plays, that usually works very well in our favor. This will be a challenge, because that's what this team is about."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on if Ed Reed can be a Rod Woodson or Ronnie Lott) 12/15/04
"I say that with the utmost respect to Rod Woodson. You're talking about a guaranteed Hall of Famer. You're talking about an All-75 Year Team. But there are a lot of similarities, and I think particularly since he's been at the safety position from the get-go. When you look at Ed, the thing that jumps out to me, you forget how young he is because he's done so much and he's such a polished professional and veteran. You look at him like a Rod Woodson, and you have to remind yourself, this kid's only been around three years. He still has even greater upside, which is kind of scary."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on the Colts' defense being ranked low in yardage and second-best in red zone defense) 12/15/04
"The statistics don't mean anything. They don't. They're a 10-3 football team, and that's what I'm referring to in their profile—their defense, their special teams are geared to what they can do offensively. They work in tandem. No one has everything. The cap precludes that. So, you have to find a profile that works for you. And they've been playing good, solid defense. Their turnover ratio and the turnovers they get are a huge part. That's so key in terms of their offense keeping the profile of putting the pressure on you that then leads to the lead, that then leads to the sacks. It's all interconnected. I think (Colts Head Coach) Tony (Dungy) has done a phenomenal job keeping that profile. We're kind of the flip side of that and you have to keep a team profile that way because one side or the other gets all of the notoriety, but it does have to be a total team profile. Theirs is kind of the opposite of ours so-to-speak. That doesn't mean that our offense or their defense isn't a huge part of it and isn't better than maybe the numbers indicate. There are a lot of different reasons for that."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on what aspect Colts Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore plays in the offense) 12/15/04
"Huge. Tom was with us in Minnesota, and Tom is someone who I learned a great deal from when I was coordinating in Minnesota. Tom's done a great job of recognizing the assets that he has, the special nature of the quarterback that he has and creating a structure that allows him to flourish. A lot of coaches would try to shove a different structure over the top of those players and get all caught up with, 'Am I getting enough credit?' and 'Is my brilliance coming through?' instead of letting Peyton have the lead and letting him have his head so-to-speak. I think Tom's doing a phenomenal job."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on if last weekend was a breakout game for Kyle Boller) 12/15/04
"Kyle has had a great month. He's had a good year. He really has. The early numbers were not particularly impressive because they didn't have to be. Our typical profile in winning in a lot of games has been, you look at the first half numbers, they're equitable, they're fine. Something happens in the third quarter, we go up by either 14 or 17 points, we're 35-1 when we have a 14-point advantage. So, with our defense, that's the profile we have. So he ends the game, we take the air out of the ball and his numbers don't look very good. But he had a good first half of the season that finished off his first full year in the league, and the second half of the season beginning with the New York Jets game, he's been outstanding. So, I think what you saw last weekend against the Giants was indicative of the kind of game and the kind of play that Kyle can have. He's had an outstanding month."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK(on how surprised he is that RB-Edgerrin James is leading the league in